Compensation for private open space loss debated

69 extra care dwellings and a new community centre have been allowed in outline on an area of grassland and the site of an existing community centre, in a suburban area of a town in Cornwall.

The main issues were effect on local character and loss of open space. On the first issue, the inspector judged the layout of the scheme preserved local character and appearance due to the retention of boundary tree cover.

On the second issue, noting the undeveloped land was privately owned and rights to access the land were conveyed by a community association and could be withdrawn, the inspector had regard to policy on the loss of such land, the status of the land and the extent to which it had been used by the public, and alternative open space provision offered via a Section 106 Agreement. The council argued that to provide an acceptable compensation for the loss of informal football play on the appeal site, a substantially greater sum should be given to create a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA). The inspector was satisfied, however, given the informal nature of use of the appeal site, that funding of modest improvements to a playing field would be sufficient and there would be no undesirable loss of an open space. Placing substantial weight on the provision of extra care housing, the inspector allowed the appeal.

Inspector: R J Marshall; Written representations

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